On the 29th of January I landed in the UK.

On the morning of the 31st of January, I left the UK to Norway.

Was my time in the UK short enough to be defined as transit? I was only there to switch airports and catch a flight to Oslo. I'm asking as I am filling out a working visa application and I want to define this correctly.

Should I list this as 2 or 3 days?

Thank you!

  • 1
    Did you have a UK Visitor in Transit Visa? Nov 2, 2018 at 20:05
  • 2
    @AndrewLazarus I didn't need a visa as I'm from Canada.
    – Noble
    Nov 2, 2018 at 20:09
  • 1
    Easy part of the question: 3 days--every day counts. If you were admitted (I assume you couldn't stay airside), how many days were you given? If it was the usual 6 mo or even 30 days, it wasn't transit.
    – mkennedy
    Nov 2, 2018 at 20:13
  • 1
    This defines ‘transit’ as leaving the U.K. within 48 hours of arrival assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/…
    – Traveller
    Nov 2, 2018 at 20:45
  • 1
    I find it quite strange that you waited over two days to get a flight from London to Oslo. There are multiple daily flights between these two cities. And it doesn't take that long to get from Gatwick to Heathrow...most of the time! Are you sure you did nothing else while in London? Looked at Buckingham Palace? Did some high street shopping? Were you just holed up in your hotel room the whole time? I expect you should not try to claim this was a transit, but a short stopover visit. Nov 3, 2018 at 13:51

3 Answers 3


It seems that you were admitted as a visitor, since you were given six months. It would still be reasonable to describe the purpose of your visit as "transit," however, since that was in fact the purpose of your visit.


UK specifically limits transit to 48 hours

Visitor in Transit visa

You might need a Visitor in Transit visa if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and you’ll:

  • be changing flights in the UK on your way to another country

  • go through immigration control, for example to check in your luggage for a connecting flight

  • leave the UK within 48 hours

  • not work or study while in the UK

I would use that criteria. In your case I would say it is 3 days and hence not transit however either way no big deal.

  • 8
    Leaving on the morning of the 31st after arriving on the 29th might indeed have been a visit of shorter than 48 hours. If the arrival was after noon on the 29th, it was certainly shorter than 48 hours.
    – phoog
    Nov 3, 2018 at 0:56

It's a pretty grey area, but if your only purpose for being there was to get on another plane, and you couldn't have reasonably got on an earlier plane, then yes your reason for being there was transit. If they are asking your reason for then 'transit' would be a good answer. If they are asking what visa you had then there ought to be a box for 'didn't need a visa'. Frankly since you don't need a visa for the UK your answer is going to make no significant difference.

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